Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday February 14 2010
What a bloody awful spectacle that was. A quintessentially dreadful advert for English football. Here's how the big names saw it...
- Mancio merits stick today for foolishly attempting to take on Stoke at their own atrocious airball game. His tactics of fighting fire with fire instead of using cunning and flare backfired in shambolic fashion. An endless succession of balls floated in to Stoke's box were easily dealt with. All City's set pieces were pointless.
'This is FA cup, it's good for this. We played very well in the first half, second half we also did well but with one throw-in for them they draw the game. This is football, but now we must prepare these two games - Tuesday in the Premier League and the replay.
'I know that Stoke away will be a different game because the pitch is small, the stadium is different. But if we want to go to the next round and we want to win Tuesday we must prepare to battle, fight, but tonight we played very well.'
And of that pisspoor equalising goal...
'Shay couldn't have saved that. The problem was that our starting positions were bad. Stoke ended up with two players free. That was the problem.'
- The baseball hatted grafter must be thrilled. Stoke are out of jail and in pole position to qualify for the next round, let alone be ready to batter City in their own back yard in a couple of nights time...
'I thought we performed really well tonight and we will give it our best shot in the replay. What we've developed over the last three or four years is the spirit and commitment off the ball. It's something they've been asked to do, but they will do it because they have the will and the spirit to do it. '
- Been getting a bit cocky of late, our Shay and flirting with danger with a fair few too many touches before distribution in front of rival strikers...
'The frustrating thing was we had about 10 players back and they had four in our box but still managed to score with pretty much a free header. We're disappointed because we had home advantage and thought we could go on and win the game but we're still in the draw for the next round. Now we have got to go to Stoke now and battle to get through to the quarter-finals.'
- Vieira is a class act. Don't believe the tripe/hype about him being past it. The World Cup winner reads the game astutely and if anything, once fully fit will arguably offer more than the one dimensional De Jong and Barry put together...
'I've heard that Stoke is a really difficult place to go. But now, if we want to get into the next round, we have to go there and perform and win the game. We don't have a choice. It's important for me to keep working really hard.
'I hope my best form will come quickly - there are not so many games left and we are going to be facing some big teams, so we need every single player to be at their best.'
- It is now glaringly obvious that Kolo, nice bloke as he undoubtedly is should not be City's skipper and right now does not merit his place in the side. All flapping arms, he lost out on almost every header he tried to challenge for and he offers no reassurance whatsoever...
'I think it was a really physical game. Delap, with his throw, to concede a goal in that situation is very difficult because we were expecting that and we didn't deal very well with it at the back.'
City looked very, very ordinary and that has been the case on and off throughout the past three fixtures. City have to beat Stoke twice on their own turf now if talk of a fourth placed league finish and FA Cup place can even begin to be taken seriously.
EARLY TUESDAY TEAM NEWS:
Ireland, Wright-Phillips and Petrov all picked up knocks on Saturday. All are doubtful. Kompany is still nursing a groin strain and Carlos Tevez will remain in Argentina with his wife and prematurely born baby.
Stoke's dangerman Matthew Etherington is 50-50 following his early substitution and will undergo a scan.
VMC City Video Link: Mancio Post Stoke Interview
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Date:Sunday February 14 2010
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